President Biden Says Gun Reform is Necessary, Retired Chief Deputy Says Not So Fast 
Photo by Chaz Niell

The Boulder, Colorado community is in mourning after 10 people, including a police officer, were killed Monday at a King Soopers grocery store. 

According to the affidavit, the suspect, identified as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, arrived at the location wearing a tactical vest, while armed with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle and a handgun. The suspect, 21, is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday. At this time, authorities say it’s unclear what motivated Alissa to commit a mass shooting, but an investigation is underway.  

The Colorado shooting was the second mass shooting to take place in a week. A gunman on March 16 opened fire at three Atlanta day spas, killing eight people, six of whom were Asian. Many are calling the murders a hate crime; but law enforcement is still investigating. So far officials have only stated that the suspect, identified as 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, had a bad day and was a sex addict.  

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Regardless of what the motives were behind these mass shootings, President Joe Biden, along with many Democrats, believes that the nation needs massive gun reform. ESSENCE spoke with retired Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Matthew Fogg, who says gun reform alone isn’t enough to prevent mass shootings. “The bottom line is the cat is already out of the bag,” he said. “If I can’t get a gun legally, I can go get one illegally. It’s just as easy to get one illegally. So, the problem is the rhetoric that’s probably fueled [by] the previous administration—making people feel like they got to go out here and take the law into their own hands and get somebody’s attention.” 

Fogg not only believes mass shootings are our new normal, but he also believes “this is going to escalate because America is a very divided nation. Some of the rhetoric that was coming out of the last administration emboldened a lot of people. [This will continue] until law enforcement starts digging into people who have guns, but are not known terrorists or on the FBI watchlist. This is something that will probably continue, and it’s going to be there until we figure out where these guns are.”